Bulldogs' defense lifts team to win over San Ramon Valley

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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While Folsom did it with offense in last week’s win over Roseville, on Friday night the defense stepped up and very much kept the Bulldogs in the game, as Folsom went on to defeat San Ramon Valley, 31-20 to improve to 2-0. Folsom allowed only two touchdowns and a pair of field goals in the win over a quality team in San Ramon and came up with stops when it needed it. Mike McCuaig had an interception midway through the fourth quarter to keep San Ramon from staking a comeback. Jake Browning and the Folsom offense struggled at times against San Ramon. After scoring on its first two possession of the game, the Bulldogs didn’t score again until the near the midpoint of the third quarter. Browning finished the game with four touchdown passes and two interceptions, completing 28-of-45 passes. “The defense played hard and very smart and just did a great job,” said Lou Baiz, Folsom’s defensive coordinator. “They have bought into what we’re doing and have had great attitudes. We’ve got a ways to go and have more stuff to add, but tonight they played hard. Eddie Flores played well and Mike had the interception late and the safeties, Rodney, Troy and Phillip always do a good job.” Folsom opened the game on a high note, as Josiah Deguara recovered a San Ramon fumble on the opening kickoff by Ben Trumm. Seven plays later, Browning hooked up with Troy Knox on a 10-yard score. San Ramon tied the score at seven, but Folsom came right back and marched 82 yards on nine plays, finishing the drive with a six-yard pass from Browning to Harry Lipnosky. The score gave Folsom a 14-7 lead with 2:08 to play in the first quarter. San Ramon’s Matt Anderson missed a 55-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter, but later made one from 29 yards away to cut the lead to 14-10 with 4:46 to play in the half. Anderson later connected from 30 yards to make it 14-13 with 1:29 to play in the half. Right before the break he missed a 44-yarder and Folsom took a one-point lead into halftime. The Wolves briefly took a 20-14 lead early in the third quarter with a touchdown pass from Cameron Birse to Matt Turner, but less than 1:30 later, Browning found Rodney Ellison on a 31-yard touchdown pass and Trumm’s extra point put Folsom up 21-20. After Folsom forced a San Ramon punt after a 13-play drive, Browning hooked up with Knox for the second time, this time from six-yards out and the Bulldogs led 28-20 with 48 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Anderson missed a 47-yard field goal on San Ramon’s next possession, but Trumm connected from 21 yards for the final score and a 31-20 Folsom victory. “I thought we played solid, but made a few mistakes,” McCuaig said. “This was a pretty big win and shows that we’re ready to compete this year. San Ramon is a great team, but we played better.” Folsom coach Kris Richardson was thrilled to get the win. “That’s a tough team and I’m thrilled to be 2-0,” Richardson said. “We battled through some dropped passes and missed protections, but we persevered.” Folsom JV 21, San Ramon 14 In an equally competitive game, the JV Bulldogs pulled out a narrow win against the Wolves. Trailing 7-0, the Bulldogs tied the game just before halftime on a seven-yard pass on fourth down from Calvin Gardner to Cole Thompson. Thompson caught a second touchdown pass early in the third quarter, again from Gardner, to put the Bulldogs in front for good, 14-7. Folsom’s final score came on a 17-yard pass from Gardner to Tristan Santos. San Ramon scored once more to make it 21-14, but couldn’t catch the Bulldogs. “We played great and the kids stepped up,” Folsom coach Jordan Banning said. “The defense stepped up and Bryan Weldy made some great plays. This is a great second-half team and I’m very proud of the guys to get this victory against a good San Ramon team.” Folsom’s freshman team battled, but suffered a 37-31 loss to the Wolves, which kicked off a long day of football.